Posts in: December 21st, 2008

Black List Script #7 – Winter’s Discontent by Paul Fruchbom

MAJOR DISCLAIMER: Since these scripts, bought or not, are currently unproduced and/or in the midst of long, tedious development processes, they may not make it to the screen for up to three years, if ever. You should know that the synopsis contains MASSIVE, EARTH-SHATTERING SPOILERS, even though this screenplay may not resemble the finished film (if any) in any way. Read at your own risk.

Secondary Disclaimer: I refer to what follows as “coverage” by the loosest definition of that term. In keeping with this blog’s tradition, I’ve crammed the notes so full of rancorous rants, it’s 1/10th as concise as actual coverage, almost falling into the category of a review. However, since I’ve included the loglines and a detailed synopsis, it’s close enough to coverage for my purposes. Deal with it.

Logline (provided by The Black List): “When Herb Winter’s wife of fifty years dies, the faithful but sexually frustrated widower moves into a retirement community to start living the swinging single life.”

Jump to:



The Bottom Line


On HERB WINTER’s 75th birthday, he attends his wife’s funeral. In voiceover, he gripes that, while he maybe didn’t want her to die, he hasn’t had sex in decades. He’s been faithful, but now it’s time to get some. At the wake, Herb talks to mourners and his best friend JULES ROSENBAUM, described as “a Jewish Mister Rogers.” Throughout his conversation, voiceover continues, providing ironic commentary to the relatively innocuous things Herb says. (This device continues intermittently throughout the script.) Herb bugs Jules for details on Spruce Gardens, a retirement community with a 4:1 woman:man ratio. Jules sarcastically plays it off and grumbles about Herb’s lack of compassion for his own wife. CHERYL (40s), Herb’s good-looking real estate agent, approaches, and Herb thinks lewd things while discussing the sale of his home.

When Herb arrives at Spruce Gardens, KATE BENTLEY (late 50s) gives him a grand tour. She shows Herb the music room and asks if he plays an instrument. Herb tells her piano, years ago. She shows him the gym and asks if he works out; Herb says he hasn’t since he served in Korea. Kate says her dad was in Korea, which stings Herb. WANDA NEWTON (70s) walks by, “eye-fucking” Herb as she passes. Kate asks what Herb used to do for a living; Herb sold typewriters, and not very well. Kate suggests it was a good fit—piano and typing.

Later, in the cafeteria, Herb tries to discuss all the feminine potential at Spruce Gardens, but Jules has no interest. Instead, Herb finds like minds in ELMER WILLIAMS and CHARLIE HASSELBACK, longtime residents who have a good thing going with the women at Spruce Gardens. They immediately welcome Herb to the fold, as they discuss fond wartime memories of women. Elmer and Charlie give Herb the lay of the land, describing each woman and her foibles. Herb’s really interested in Kate, but the others believe she’s too young—there’s no way she’ll give him the time of day. Herb asks who he should approach instead. They ask how long it’s been since he’s had sex. Herb can’t even remember. Elmer and Charlie suggest Wanda Newton.

Read More